Carrying around a heavy tool box might’ve been a badge of honor in generations past, but it can take a toll on your back and affect your workflow. Factor in that those long, lunchbox-style tool boxes are tough to organize, and there has to be another option.
While rolling tool boxes and chests are great, they can be heavy and cumbersome. Luckily, the best rolling tool bag can answer the call. These bags feature large capacities, organized pockets, handles, and wheels for the best blend of portability and organization available. Keep reading to learn how you can benefit from one of these functional bags. Plus, find out which one I tested and how it performed.
- BEST OVERALL: DEWALT DGL571 Lighted Roller Tool Bag
- RUNNER UP: Stark 20″ Rolling Wide Mouth Tool Bag Tote
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear Roller Tool Bag
- BEST STACKABLE: DURHAND 3pcs Rolling Mobile Tool Bag
- BEST DUFFEL: Makita 831269-3 Large LXT Tool Bag
- BEST CAPACITY: Klein Tools 55452RTB Tool Bag
- ALSO CONSIDER: Husky GP-43196N13 18″ Red Rolling Tool Tote Bag
When shopping for the best rolling tool bag, there are some points to keep in mind. The following is a list of some of the most important considerations to ponder while weighing your options. Be sure to understand each point, and use them when comparing the best tool bags before making a decision.
The way you intend to use a rolling tool bag will have a significant bearing on choosing the right model. If you need something to roll from a work vehicle and across a parking lot, larger wheels that roll over rougher surfaces will be best. If you’re simply carrying a bunch of smaller hand tools, a compact tote should do the trick.
Your intended use and the organization of the bag are also worth considering. If you’re looking for a bag to bring along some power drills and smaller saws, you’ll want something with a large center pocket, unobstructed with extra pockets or pouches. If you carry a lot of hardware and parts, you might prefer something that can accommodate a few plastic organizers. Be sure to pick a bag that will work for your specific needs.
There are a few types of rolling tool bags, and they differ a bit in their design. The following are some of the points that will help you decide which bag will work best for you.
- Rolling tool bags: Rolling tool bags are typically just like regular tool bags but with an extendable handle and wheels. They have zippered closures, several pockets, and plenty of organization.
- Rolling tool totes: Featuring a more open design, rolling tool totes allow users to reach in and grab a tool quickly. Many have rigid handles in the center. Some have zippered closures, but they’re mainly wide-open.
- Rolling tool duffels: When it comes to maximizing storage, rolling tool duffels are the way to go. These bags are long and offer plenty of interior storage. The difference between these bags and a traditional travel duffel is that most tool duffels can stand on their own, allowing the user to take advantage of vertical storage.
Unlike heavy tool boxes made from steel or rigid rolling totes made from heavy-duty plastic polymers, the best rolling tool bags tend to utilize durable nylon. This material makes these bags lightweight and flexible and even collapsible for storage. Collapsibility can be a big plus in a work truck or smaller garage shop.
Many rolling tool bags also feature heavy-duty hook-and-loop closures and tough zippers. Choosing a product from a well-established brand should ensure that whatever additional materials used are durable and high-quality. Some of the best brands use Velcro brand hook-and-loop as well as YKK zippers.
Size and Weight
Rolling tool bags aren’t run-of-the-mill rolling luggage. Because they have to hold lots of heavy, pointy tools and not a weekend’s worth of clothing, they have to use materials that are thick and durable enough to do the job without weighing too much. Many of these bags can get the job done while only weighing 10 pounds, with heavier-duty models sometimes tipping the scales at closer to 20 pounds.
Also, you’ll want to look for a bag that’s large enough to handle the things you need to transport without being cumbersome. Large bags can be as wide and deep as 20 inches, with duffels being as long as 30 to 36 inches. If you need a more compact bag, look for one around 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
Plainly put, tools are heavy. The more you load into a bag, the more stress you’ll be putting on the closures, seams, and wheels. Finding a bag that’s up for the job with a decent weight capacity is important.
Some heavier-duty rolling tool bags can handle up to 250 pounds, allowing users to carry power tools and heavier hand tools like wrenches, ratchets, and sockets, as well as hardware and parts. While these heavy loads put a lot of pressure on the wheels, these bags are designed to handle the stress.
With that said, not every bag has to carry 200 pounds. Most bags are designed to easily handle the weight of their loaded pockets. It’s when users place additional weight on top of the bag that they might see some rolling issues or threads popping at the seams.
One of the greatest benefits of rolling tool bags is their organization. Adding compartments and trays to a metal tool box would make it very heavy. With a nylon bag, that’s simply not the case. Manufacturers load these bags with pockets, dividers, zippered closures, and other features to increase their storage capacity.
Many of the best rolling tool bags feature zippered compartments with large flaps that offer access to neatly stored screwdrivers, testing instruments, and writing tools. Other compartments might include a large open center pocket, hook-and-loop flaps on the side for batteries, and more. Be sure to keep your specific tool set and gear in mind when comparing storage compartments between bags.
The best rolling tool bags excel when it comes to portability. They can roll across parking lots, large commercial buildings, or just from the workbench to the front fender of a project car. Getting the most portability out of your purchase does depend on a few factors.
By and large, the two most important factors when considering portability are the handle and wheels. Large, solid wheels and telescoping handles make transporting a heavy load of tools an easy process. But also, if you have to lift and lower the bag to and from a workbench or truck bed, it needs a set of sturdy handles to grab on to besides the telescoping handle.
When it comes to additional features, rolling tool bags are tough to beat. These bags come with features like LED lights, roll-up flaps, large pockets, and even attachments for securing belt-hook-equipped tools for easy transport. Some also come with shoulder straps to make climbing stairs easier.
One of the most useful features some rolling tool bags offer is a wide-mouth design. This allows users to place large tools inside without awkwardly maneuvering them through a tight, half-opened zipper. These openings also give the user a better view of what’s inside, speeding the job up every time they need a new tool for the project.
Our Top Picks
With a bit of background on the best tool bags, choosing the best model doesn’t seem so complicated. This streamlined list consists of some of the best rolling tool bags on the market, including a great option that I had the chance to test myself.
Getting all of the tools to the job might not get any easier than it is with DEWALT’s DGL571 Lighted Roller Tool Bag. This nylon tool bag measures just under 20 inches long, 16½ inches tall, and 13 inches deep, offering plenty of storage for larger hand tools, power drills, and batteries. The interior is lined with slots for hand tools, which are easy to access thanks to the fully zippered flap.
The DGL571 has a lot more to offer than just storage. This bag has a zippered top closure flat with built-in magnets to hold it open against the telescoping handle. The handle itself also has a built-in LED light for illuminating the work site, the bag contents, or the way to the job. Additionally, this bag has durable treaded wheels, six multi-use pockets, and tough nylon carrying handles.
Anyone looking for rolling tool storage that won’t break their back—or their bank account—should check out Stark’s 20-inch Rolling Wide Mouth Tool Bag Tote. Featuring several interior and exterior pockets, this tool bag offers plenty of storage, measuring 20 inches wide, 17 inches high, and 12 inches deep, and weighing a manageable 15 pounds. It also has a built-in belt clip holder for hook-equipped power tools.
The Stark has eight exterior pockets and 14 internal slots and dividers on the inside. Thanks to the wide-mouth buckled and hook-and-loop lid, accessing all those interior pockets is a cinch. Made from durable ballistic nylon and featuring treaded wheels and a collapsing handle, this tote will hold up for plenty of weight and make transporting tools easy.
Dragging a heavy load of tools is tough enough without a tool bag weighing things down as well. Fortunately, the L258 TechGear Roller Tool Bag from CLC Custom Leathercraft helps lighten the load. Weighing just 11 pounds, it’s just heavy enough to get the tools to the job but light enough to make rolling them there as easy as possible. And, measuring 18½ inches wide by 17 inches high and 13 inches deep, it’s not sacrificing much on storage space.
This bag from CLC Custom Leathercraft features 17 pockets for plenty of tool storage as well as a fully zippered magnetic lid for unobstructed access. Also, there’s a built-in LED in the telescoping handle, lighting the path to the job on early mornings or lighting dimly lit work spaces.
When just one rolling tool bag won’t do, DURHAND’s three-piece set of tool bags might be the way to go. This set of three bags has a stackable design that allows the user to carry all three bags on one set of wheels. While the bags are made from durable oxford material, there are reinforced plates on top of the large and medium bags for stability during transport. When not in use, these bags nest inside each other for easy storage.
The bag sizes include:
- Large: 19 inches wide, 17¾ inches tall, 9½ inches deep
- Medium: 16¼ inches wide, 9¼ inches tall, and 8¼ inches deep
- Small: 14¼ inches wide, 9 inches tall, and 6¼ inches deep
Each bag has several pockets for tool or hardware storage as well as nylon handles for easy carrying. The large bag features a telescoping handle and treaded wheels for traction over loose or wet surfaces.
If there’s one thing that contractors and tradespeople know, it’s that carrying an armful of power tool cases back and forth to the project is a hassle. Makita’s Large LXT Tool Bag tackles the job head-on, carrying up to six hard cases of the company’s 18V tool lineup. With the built-in wheels and telescoping handle, it takes just one hand to wheel them back and forth.
While the massive interior holds a bunch of power tools, there are several exterior pockets with zippers and hook-and-loop closures for hand tools, batteries, or other items. The Makita also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap for carrying up stairs or over rougher terrain.
Any tradesperson looking for a rolling tool transport option with a high weight capacity should consider this tool bag from Klein Tools. Its substantial 200-pound weight capacity allows for accommodating heavy hand tools, parts, hardware, and power tools with ease. The wide-mouth, metal-reinforced opening allows for easy access to its interior—a contrasting orange color, making finding those tools that much easier.
Measuring 20 inches across, 16 inches tall, and 11 inches deep, this bag includes 24 pockets for plenty of storage, with a fully zippered front flap giving access to several tool-storage slots and pockets. The 55452RTB also features heavy-duty 6-inch wheels for rolling across rough terrain and a telescoping handle for leverage and control when hauling up to 200 pounds of gear.
Shoppers looking to benefit from the open-access design of a tool tote without sacrificing the protection of a zippered bag should give the Husky Rolling Tool Tote Bag a look. This handy, water-resistant tote features 18 pockets, many of which are on the exterior of the tote, offering quick and easy access. It also features durable wheels and a telescoping handle, making transporting this 13-pound tote back and forth to the job a breeze—even when it’s full of tools. It also boasts a weight capacity of 100 pounds, easily enough for most tool kits.
During testing, I found that the comfortable, heavy-duty nylon handles made toting it up and down from a truck bed or workbench an easy proposition. In addition, the telescoping handle was also sturdy. It extended and collapsed smoothly, no fidgeting necessary. Coupled with the smooth-rolling wheels, this bag could easily make it over almost any terrain. I found that this rolling bag could truly operate as a one-stop workstation. Overall, it’s a great tool bag.
With a sizable capacity, multiple storage compartments, and helpful extras like a built-in LED light, the DEWALT DGL571 Lighted Roller Tool Bag is an excellent choice for DIYers and pros alike. For those who need a more cost-conscious option to carry their tools, the Stark 20″ Rolling Wide Mouth Tool Bag Tote offers comparable capacity and portability to pricier tool bags.
How We Chose the Best Rolling Tool Bags
With plenty of rolling tool bags to choose from, we first took into account brand reputation and longevity as well as average customer satisfaction rates. Then we looked at the types of rolling tool bags and intended use. To find the best of each type of tool bag we evaluated the quality of the materials, storage compartments, size and weight, capacity, and portability to determine which bags stood out from the rest. Finally, when we compared similar bags we used additional features, such as shoulder straps or a wide-mouth design, to help us determine which rolling tool bag would come out on top.
Now that you know a bit more about the best rolling tool bags, there might be some additional questions popping up. The following is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about rolling tool bags, so be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.
Q. Can a rolling tool bag hold a laptop?
While they can certainly hold a laptop, there aren’t any padded pockets designed to house one. A tool backpack might be a better option.
Q. How do I organize my tool bag?
Here are some tips for organizing your tool bag:
- Place power tools and larger hand tools, like hammers and wrenches, in the center compartment.
- Place smaller hand tools in the slots lining the interior of the bag. It’s best to put the most used tools here as these slots are the most accessible.
- For small hand tools used infrequently, the zippered or hook-and-loop pockets on the outside of the bag are ideal.
- Customizable plastic trays are excellent for organizing hardware and small parts.
Q. How do I maintain my rolling tool bag?
Most rolling tool bags are robust and require very little maintenance. Spot cleaning now and then with water and a bit of laundry detergent is a good idea. Also, a quick spray of lubricant on the wheels and telescoping handles will ensure they don’t rust and become difficult to use.